Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel
Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.fairmont.com/empress
  • Phone: (250) 389-2727
  • Hours of Operation:
    Daily Seatings start at 1130am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Afternoon Tea
  • Executive Chef: Morgan Wilson
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Entertainment, Fireplace, High Tea, Non-Smoking Restaurant, View, Wheelchair Access
  • Entertainment: Pianist plays daily during Afternoon Tea Service.

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel
Steeped in tradition, The Fairmont Empress has been serving Victoria's grandest tradition of Afternoon Tea for over a century. The majestic lobby of this landmark hotel has played host to England's most beloved ritual - the taking of Afternoon Tea to famed celebrities, dignitaries and royalty alike.



Our Award-winning Pastry Team works their magic, ensuring an authentic and memorable experience - from your very first sip of our secret Tea at The Empress blend tea, right through to his freshly baked raisin scones served with heavy cream and strawberry preserves.



Served in the relaxing atmosphere of the elegantly restored Tea Lobby, overlooking Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbour, Afternoon Tea is an absolute 'must do' for all who visit Victoria.



Please note any dietary concerns or restrictions in your reservation.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Afternoon Tea - The Fairmont Empress Hotel reviews from OpenTable diners
460 reviews since July 28, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.3
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (377)scenic view (205)romantic (173)fit for foodies (106)great for lunch (104)great for brunch (82)neighborhood gem (74)good for groups (74)kid-friendly (51)hot spot (21)great for outdoor dining (10)notable wine list (4)late-night find (4)Show More
  • The tea food was very good. Price is way too high.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    My 3 sisters and I had a very enjoyable get together having Afternoon Tea. The food was tasty for most of us, but some found it unpalatable. The price of $50 per person for little sandwiches, scones, tea & sweets is really too high when you have to add on the tip. We would not do it again at this price, but it was an experience being in the Empress Hotel for Afternoon Tea. $30 per person should more than cover the cost of these tea foods. It was nice, but I think over rated.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Memory Lane
    Goodfun
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    My mother had not been to Victoria in 60 years so Tea at the Empress was an absolute requirement for our visit. We booked a week in advance and were able to get the last table of the entire weekend in mid-November. It was lovely.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tea at the Empress
    Islander
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    A beautiful way to spend time with a young lady on her birthday. Fresh teatime treats, beautifully presented, and impeccable, gracious service in a most elegant setting. As lovely now as it was 40 years ago when I was a young lady!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Experience - ? Value for $
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    High Tea at the Empress Hotel is a super experience and I would recommend it. However, $49 for finger sandwiches, treats and tea is over the top. I would even say $35 is pushing it. 25-30 would be about right. I get its the experience and all that goes with it. However there were 4 of us so a $200 for a light (at best) lunch is ridiculous. Took my mom but won't do it again on principle alone.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Empress Hotel High Tea
    bangers
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    This was a special occasion meal and the Empress did not disappoint. Just wish there were more scones! Loved the curry chicken sandwiches.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overrated and overpriced
    vital8y
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We went for the experience and culinary curiosity. Most of the snack-size items were cheaply made, and didn't impress either of us. The desserts were defrosted boxed store bought pieces, not hand-crafted by any chef or anyone who cares about reputation of what they serve. There was actually NO items made of pastry whatsoever. The tea was just okay.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Tea for two, ring for one
    WaTeaFans
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Afternoon tea at the Empress was a bucket list time for my friend, and for me, a great setting to propose to her. We both had a wonderful time and I would like to especially acknowledge the excellent service provided by the staff.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It was special
    Itwasspecial
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Afternoon Tea was all we hoped it would be. Food was delicious and plentiful. Service was excellent.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • High Tea Delight
    MorePlease
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    Worth every cent! Had a most delightful hostess named Arlene. Compliments to the Chef. The Moroccan Chicken sandwiches were especially tasty. Great experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoy the Exiereince !!!!
    EmpressYummyTea
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    An experience you should at least try once in your lifetime -I loved the idea of High Tea in a magnificent spot and this was just the place. The grandeur palace set on the foreshores of Victoria Habour truly made for a dreamy little afternoon tea with friends.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tea for Two
    Littlecabin
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Afternoon tea at the Empress is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A throwback to a different time. It's pricey, but you should do it once. Lovely pastries, savory tea sandwiches and the wonderful Empress blend tea.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tea Time!
    davomaso
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    You can't visit Victoria without having Tea at the Empress!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Must Experience!
    NomNoms
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel is a wonderful experience. The service is such a treat and the Tea, Sandwiches, Scones and dessert are very delicious.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • high tea at the Empress
    pickieup234
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    It was a good experience. The tea as different. The customer service need some improvement the waitress was quiet rude especially when I ask her kindly to take a picture.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful tea
    Ecolorado
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon tea. The food was delicious. I am a vegetarian and let them know ahead of time and they had prepared very interesting vegetarian finger sandwiches for me. The service was friendly & efficient. A baby at another table that literally shrieked & screamed for over 20 minutes detracted greatly from the experience.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A definite must do in Victoria BC!
    jenjarbo
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    The Empress is such an amazing hotel. So beautiful and historic and High Tea is truly something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime there. The servers are so sweet and unpretentious, the atmosphere is festive and the food is delightful. You can dress up or go a little casual, there is no snobbery at this High Tea, but I would definitely keep your pinky out just for fun!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice Tea!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    This is my third time having the afternoon tea at the Empress. I have enjoyed it everytime. They accomodated my request at the time of my reservation for a quiet corner with view. Food and tea was wonderful. Only negative is that the price is high at $49.95 per person.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • High Tea Sets High Expectations
    bgilchrist
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    This was my third or fourth time having High Tea at the Empress and nothing I've had elsewhere can compare. The ambiance alone could carry the experience, however that has never been the case. The tea was perfectly steeped and apparently endless; the sandwiches, pastries, and sweets (all made in house) fantastic; the service (try and get seated in Margie's section - a 45 year veteran and simply delightful) impeccable. Always a must whenever visiting beautiful Victoria, B.C.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • fantastick
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    Excellant chose of tea's and exlnt tasting teasand goodies to go along with the tea.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    StraightShooter
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    In our reservation request we noted that were coming to the Empress to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary!! I didn't expect a brass band, but expected something. When we arrived and gave our name, the receptionist mumbled a perfunctory "Happy Anniversary" as the waiter led us to our table. At the midpoint the waiter brought over a little white chocolate ribbon with "Happy Anniversary" written on it and added that to the candy tray. forgotten in the initial prep, I guessed. And then the pianist stopped playing - not enough patrons? During prior visits service was provided by gracious, attentive ladies. No longer. Nothing special except the high cost and the lovely historic facility - which you can tour for free.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • wonderful experience!
    maria
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    It was my first high-tea experience and I wasn't disappointed. Our server was very friendly and accommodating. My husband requested for a special drink from the bar and he went over himself to get it for him. He also offered to take our pictures first before partaking of the food. I would have forgotten to do it if he didn't mention it. The food was great. The tea set used also had a history behind it. It was something like the set used for Queen Elizabeth's inauguration or something.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect birthday celebration
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Five of us went to celebrate birthdays during a one-day visit to Victoria. Our afternoon tea was the highlight of our trip. We were seated immediately and made to feel at home. The tea was hot, the sandwiches were delicious but the best was the scone. To die for! I was so full I barely made a dent in the sweets on the top tier. I actually brought back a box to our tour guide as a treat. A very thoughtful touch was the white chocolate sign at the top of our three-tier tray that had "Happy Birthday" written in chocolate. We all received a small box of tea to take home as well. It was a very special afternoon for all of us.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Charming to a "tea"
    pyukawa
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Having tea at the Empress is like going back in time to a period when men took their coats off for women to cross puddles, and they would curtsey in thanks. The food seems small when it comes out, but I left full and with a box of leftovers. The sandwiches were light and tasty, the scones were buttery and light, and all of the desserts were yummy. You get a selection of 5 different teas, and we had the Empress Blend and the Kealani Orange Pineapple teas. The Empress Blend was classic, while the Orange Pineapple was fruity yet not overpowering. The service was top notch, attentive yet not smothering. Our waiter even offered to take pictures before we dug in to capture the moment. The price may put some off, but splurge once!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • a must do when in Victoria
    loveVictoria
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    A customer of mine recommended we have tea at the Empress. I researched it on line and made reservations. It's not only about the tea and food it's also about the experience. Our server was amazing, explaining the different teas and when we received our food she explained each tier of food. My parents honeymooned in Victoria back in 1967. They had visited Victoria several times but they never experienced the afternoon tea at the Empress. My dad is gone now but I plan on taking my mom to Victoria so she can have this experience too.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic old world ambience
    TheGregman
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    All in all a great experience. Knowledgeable staff, beautiful old world room with a view of Victoria's inner harbour, strawberries and cream, great finger sandwiches, traditional raisin scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream and desserts to die for. WOW
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • PDXTevvy
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    Definitely a special occasion kind of place (unless you normally drop $50 on lunch). I came here once as a child and was excited to return on a trip to Victoria to celebrate my 30th birthday. Everything was just as I remembered it: delicious variety of sandwiches and desserts, warming teas, and really attentive service. Our server was always nearby but didn't seem intrusive. And we were offered more of everything after we made our way through the first tower of treats; we declined only because we were already full.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightful afternoon!
    garygastronomy
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We had a delightful afternoon ant the Empress. The treats were delicious, service was great, ambience was elegant and we felt very indulged!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful, as usual
    NurseOfMarines
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    This is my second time to do Tea at the Empress , this year. It's always a lovely experience. My only desire is that there would be unlimited portions. :D. Of all the items, I think the scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserves are my favorite part of the meal. The scones are so light, the clotted cream is delicately sweet. Top the preserves on top and it's a winning trifecta! OH so good!!! Our server Yosief was attentive.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Delightful
    DavidVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Such a fun and elegant experience. Always a great tourist thing to do.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • teafor2
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    We enjoyed "Afternoon Tea" at the Empress Hotel. We had a window seat overlooking the harbor so that certainly added to the event. Food was excellent, and the waitress was very professional.
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lovely!
    kyon
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    Lovely atomosphere,Good foods and Very sweet server! I had a great time with my parents. Thank you!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • rockymountainqueen
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    A most gracious and delightful experience. The view is wonderful, and the ambiance offered by the live piano completes the experience.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special treat for us ladies!
    Caligals
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    I was on a trip with my mom, sisters and aunt. This was a perfect thing to add for us ladies who all have children and husbands at home and don't get away much for relaxation! We really enjoyed the ambiance and the relaxing atmosphere! It was quite elegant and the tea and goodies were delicious!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Must Do when visitiing Victoria
    saige
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    "A must do" when visiting Victoria. A wonderful experience as have never had "High Tea". The dessert tier was most enjoyable as of course was the Empress Blend tea. Service was perfect balance of being attentive without hovering. Would recommend to anyone visiting Victoria!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Empress Saturday 4th of October
    Lovetea
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    My daughter and I have had tea at the Empress 10 years ago and I was hoping for the same wonderful experience. It was just as nice as before and I think just a little bit better. Sublime finger sandwiches, scones and tea. The server was fantastic even though the room was packed. I would say on the expensive side, 50.00 a person, but for a once in 10 years experience, it's worth it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We thoroughly enjoyed afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel. Our special requests were accomodated quite nicely. We enjoyed our table by the window with a view of the inner harbour. Certainly an experience that should not be missed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tea at Empress
    memorabledining
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    I had been looking forward to this tea for so long, but was a little disappointed. The Empress is a grand old lady, and I was hoping the tea would live up to that legacy. The food was good, but nothing I haven't seen before or that stood out. The tea room and the accoutrements need to be spruced up to the point of elegance, and it's just not there. Come on Fairmont....this is the Empress...do her proud.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Splendid experience!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    While it was a bit expensive, the experience was awesome! Great service, tasty sandwiches, delectable scones and superb sweets! My girlfriends and I thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon tea!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Empress Blend a hit!
    Traveladybug
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    This was my first visit to Victoria, and prior to going I had heard from numerous people that I must try afternoon tea at the Empress. I have been to many tea services before, and this service was exceptional! The atmosphere and view were incomparable, and the food was delicious. My friend and I chose the Empress Blend, and it was wonderful! Compared to other teas I have been to, I found this to be served a bit "mechanically". There were many people to be served, and we never felt neglected by our server, but it was very routine. I would definitely recommend this to anyone visiting Victoria though, it was a great experience!
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • High tea
    anitawho
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Very nice and elegant. Food was delicious and more than imagined. Which was good as was hungery. Would like a little history given at appropriate times The tea sample to take home was an added bonus and a nice surprise. Would ho again
    Special Features:
    scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.